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Malaysia 1MDB scandal: Jho Low, US reach secret deal to try to ‘forever’ resolve forfeiture case

According to the documents as well as executives close to the situation, the DOJ signed a confidential agreement in early June with Low’s family lawyers and their financial trustees.

It would involve surrendering assets previously identified by the authorities, as well as those not previously claimed or captured by prosecuting agencies worldwide, under a fresh settlement plan.

It is a deal that could bring closure to one of Washington’s longest-running asset forfeiture cases that former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions described as “kleptocracy at its worst”.

The agreement to try and reach a global settlement was signed by Margaret A. Moeser, Acting Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery section in the Criminal Division of the DOJ, lawyers for the Lows’ financial trustee and Low’s family lawyer Robin Rathmell of law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres.

The confidential agreement, which has yet to be publicly disclosed, is tied to the announcement on Wednesday by the DOJ that it is to recover an additional US$100 million in resolving two civil forfeiture cases.

Najib and Low were the architects of the scandal-ridden state-owned sovereign fund 1MDB.

The list of the assets was redacted in the copy reviewed by reporters.

The latest settlement agreement is the second asset forfeiture deal between the DOJ and Low, following a separate US$700 million deal in October 2019.

Shockwaves from the 1MDB affair continue to percolate in Malaysia, and Low remains one of its most wanted criminal suspects.

For starters, the detailed provisions set out in the Settlement Agreement Letter are markedly different from the statement issued by DOJ on Wednesday, in which it stated that it had resolved two civil forfeiture cases against assets that were